Mexico-focused miner First Majestic (TSX: FR) produced 3.5 million ounces of silver from its three active mines (San Dimas, Santa Elena and La Encantada) during the fourth quarter of 2020. This represents a 9% increase over the previous quarter and the company’s second-highest quarterly silver production.
About 1.9 million ounces were produced at San Dimas, representing a 16% improvement over Q3 2020. This was the highest quarterly silver production since acquiring the mine in May 2018.
La Encantada contributed 1.1 million silver ounces, representing a 12% increase from the prior quarter and the highest quarterly production since Q2 2013.
Gold production across First Majestic’s operations reached 26,343 ounces, representing a 2% increase from the prior quarter. In total, the company produced 5.5 million silver equivalent ounces for the quarter, a 5% increase over Q3.
For the full year, the company produced 11.6 million ounces of silver, achieving the top-end of its revised guidance range thanks to strong production from La Encantada and San Dimas in the second half of 2020, which helped to offset production losses resulting from covid-19 shutdowns in the second quarter.
“At La Encantada, silver production hit a six-year high due to continued improvements in recoveries and underground production from the caving areas. San Dimas had a strong close to 2020 by producing 3.5 million silver equivalent ounces in the fourth quarter and the highest quarterly silver production while under our ownership,” president and CEO Keith Neumeyer said in a press release.
Gold production in 2020 reached 100,081 ounces, slightly below the company’s guidance range. This was due to lower production rates at Santa Elena and lower gold grades at San Dimas in the second half of 2020.
For the year, First Majestic achieved record consolidated average silver recoveries of 88%, the highest in the company’s 18-year history, due to the continued success with fine grinding technologies and mill modifications.
“In 2021, we expect an increase of up to 20% in consolidated silver production across the three operating mines. In addition, our investment in underground development at the Ermitaño project near Santa Elena will kick into high gear in order to prepare the area for production ramp up in early 2022,” Neumeyer added.
“Along with a few other projects currently being advanced, we now have a clear path to achieving our goal of producing 30 million silver equivalent ounces by 2023.”
Shares of First Majestic jumped 8.4% by 12:50 p.m. in Toronto on the latest operating results. The company has a market capitalization of approximately C$3.86 billion.